1) Rachael @ The Rachael Way- Back in 2013, I became friends with a girl named Courtney who used to blog. Rachael ended up becoming Courtney's "Big" for the Bigs and Littles Blogging Network. While the two of them were messaging back and forth, Rachael mentioned a blogger meet up she was organizing in Cleveland with Jess @ Healthy is Happy. I had also seen a post about it on Jess's blog, so Courtney and I talked about potentially going. I was nervous, but both of us went for it, and that's where I met Rachael. We instantly became friends and because of her, I'm now teaching in China! I'm so glad I ended up going to that meet up because Rachael is seriously one of my closest friends! We have a lot in common because we're both teachers, bloggers, and love to travel. Over the summer, we took an epic trip to New York City, Iceland, and Boston and by the time this post is published, we'll be in the Maldives together! I don't say this about many people, but I think Rachael will be a lifelong friend.
Favorite Posts by Rachael: My Biggest Fear, The Best Travel Experiences in China, A Mini Travel Guide to Shanghai, I Gained 8 Pounds and a New Perspective
Follow The Rachael Way: Twitter, Instagram, Bloglovin
2) Rachel @ Small Towns and City Lights- I discovered Rachel's blog sometime last year and had been following along. When Rachael and I were talking about going to BlogHer, Rachael mentioned that Rachel was also going to be there. We ended up meeting up at the closing party, sponsored by McDonald's. Rachel was genuinely nice and liked to talk about travel with us! Then, we got serenaded by Boyz II Men and had some spiked lemonade. I think all of us had a great time, and hopefully we will be able to meet up one day at another blogging convention.
Favorite Posts by Rachel: A Day of Bavarian Castles, Dad-Daughter Trip to Savannah, Georgia, 12 Reads for 2016
Follow Small Towns and City Lights: Twitter, Instagram, Bloglovin
3) Ashliegh @ The Darling Daily- I met Ashliegh at the same Cleveland Blogger Meet Up that I met Rachael at. Ever since I met her, I've enjoyed following her adventures on her blog. Last year she got to travel all over Europe and worked as a nanny, and this year she's working in Colorado, a place I have always been interested in visiting. Another reason I like reading Ashliegh's blog is because she's stylish. Her fashion tips and outfit posts help inspire me!
Favorite Posts by Ashliegh: The Most Epic Worst Date Ever, 4 Seasons of Style: Utility Vest, Great American Road Trip
Follow The Darling Daily: Twitter, Instagram, Bloglovin
4) Taylor @ The Global Darling- Right before I left for Shanghai in August, I joined Girl vs. Globe, a Facebook group for female bloggers who travel. I remember there being a thread about China, and Taylor mentioned that she was moving to Shanghai right after me. Rachael, Taylor, and I decided to meet up one weekend to go for brunch at Egg. Later on, we visited Zotter's Chocolate Museum, and then we went on another outing to a Christmas market together. Right now Taylor is in the States, but I already can't wait for the next time we meet up! She is the only friend I have in Shanghai that isn't affiliated with the school I work for, and it's so refreshing to have a friend "off-campus" who gets that sometimes life abroad can be challenging but can also be very rewarding.
Favorite Posts by Taylor: Toto, I am Not in Santa Monica Anymore, Why I Left my Job as a Management Consultant, Turkey: Istanbul Reflections
Follow The Global Darling: Instagram, Bloglovin, Pinterest
5) Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki- As soon as I discovered Kaelene's blog, I was hooked, but when I decided to take a trip to Iceland, Kaelene's blog served as an informative resource and helped me plan my trip! Thanks to her suggestions, I got to visit places in Iceland that I wouldn't have otherwise stopped at. When I was staying in Reykjavik, Rachael and I had a chance to meet up with Kaelene. She's just as awesome in person as she seems on her blog, and we chatted about Icelandic culture, blogging, and about risking it all to live abroad.
Favorite Posts by Kaelene: 10 Free Outdoor Activities To Do in Reykjavik, Iceland, 9 "Off the Beaten Path" Places in Iceland, Road Tripping Around North Iceland, Why I Like Living Abroad
Follow Unlocking Kiki: Twitter, Instagram, Bloglovin
Favorite Posts by Kate: Showing You My Books, How to Enter Giveaways on Goodreads, So, That's Why it is Called a "Challenge" Walk
Follow Another Clean Slate: Twitter, Instagram, Bloglovin